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:o Hi guys. thanks to all those who posted replies to my last topic. it was really helpfull. Ok here's the next none :D . i've just been given an english curriculum essay that asks me to explain my approach to developing reading/writing in the early years classroom. i also have to describe how i would use assessment to inform planning and teaching stating what i would assess and why. i've made a start and got some good ideas out of the books from the libary and my own personal experience about developing the skills (such as a print enriched environment, opportunities to mark make thorughout the provision with a range of tools and media and incorporating writing opportunities into role-play) but i was wondring, as professionals, if any one had any ideas they could share with me about the assessment part thanx, Phil :)
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Hi Phil,

I think the assessment part of your essay has to be about observing the children and ascertaining their readiness for reading and pre-writing/writing. When observing a child's readiness for reading for example does s/he:

choose books freely?

enjoy looking at a variety of different books, knowing which way the pages turn, perhaps pointing to words?

talk about pictures in the books, relating them to their own lives, or predicting what might happen?

know stories by heart and show a love of telling them/hearing them again and again?

seek out information from non-fiction books to find out about something that interests them?

match pictures/symbols/letters?

tell the odd one out from a series of simple pictures?


Once you have this type of information on the child, you can then start to plan the next steps, ie noticing the same letter in a variety of words when you are sharing a book with a child, or saying something lke "That's a letter in your name, isn't it?" or drawing attention to anything that is relevant to the child.


That's how I'd tackle your essay regarding the reading part. As for the writing part, the process is very similar really, assessing the child so that you can plan the next learning opportunities, based on answers to the following, for example:

Does s/he make marks on anything? Paper, etc is an obvious one, but what about whiteboards/blackboards/easels/playdough/chalk on the outdoor surface?

Is mark-making a part of the child's role play? eg 'writing' on clipboards in the hospital role play area, message pad by the 'phone, etc)

What are his/her motor skills like? (look at construction play, threading, puzzle completion, cutting and sticking, manipulation of malleable materials for example)


Hope this helps, and look forward to other members' comments :D

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